Biggest Cock Tease: Flume – Some Minds
It almost wasn’t fair what Harley Streten did to us in the beginning of this summer. He’s been telling all his fans for years now that new music is on the horizon. So what does he do? He recruits Miike Snow vocalist, Andrew Wyatt to lead us all the way through almost three minutes of atmospheric orchestration until we get slapped with layers of classic Flume synths. Was there any new Flume album information after this release? NO. THERE WASN’T. WTF HARLEY. We have been waiting so patiently, but we still love you and eagerly await for more teasing. #justthetip
Most Likely to Make You Get Down – Chet Faker & Marcus Marr
The mixture of Chet’s sultry vocals and funky guitar riffs make it almost impossible to refrain from any pelvic movement. This track was almost nominated for “Most Likely to Make You Horny” but this is a family blog right? The track comes from their collab project entitled, “Work EP” that was released in December of this year. Now I say no more, listen and let you pelvis do the talking.
Most Likely to Cause An Existential Crisis – Beach House – Depression Cherry
To rip of Zooey Deschanel cheeky quote in Almost Famous, “Listen to Depression Cherry with a candle burning and you will see your future”. Well actually you really won’t see your future, but you will heavily contemplate your values and the meaning of life. The album transports you to a place where nothing else exists except what is happening in your ears. It holds this sense of completely transforming your surroundings and giving you too much time to think.
Mostly Likely to Make You Scream “YAAS QUEEN” – Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Fierce. Pure. Loud. Feminine as f**k. These are all terms that roam through the mind as one listens to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. On the group’s third studio album, a complete new approach is taken incorporating classic rock guitar riffs with cathedral shrieking vocals. From the deep ballads to the screaming rock anthems, every single song evokes a different reactions that evokes the same response, “YAS QUEEN”.
Most Over Stimulating – Tame Impala – Currents
First things first, over stimulating in this case is not a bad thing. It is the only word that comes close to describing Kevin Parker’s pure genius on Currents. He is making a statement of maturity, growing up and evolution. Every single song is a journey in itself as he makes up a bed of layered synths, consistent percussion and pleasing distortion. Currents will make you experience every emotion possible in only 12 tracks.
Best “New” Artist – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
We all have a band like UMO in our lives. They’re the band that you’ve been listening to since 2011 but everyone just found out about them this year. That’s ok though because when everyone is singing “Multi-Love” at their sold out shows, you’re among the few that know every word to “Thought Ballune.” Speaking of Multi-Love, (the lead single and title of their third album) it’s the perfect example of locking into a creative stride. Mastermind, Ruban Neilson along with his former bandmate and brother Kody (check out his new solo project, SILICON) bunkered down in a studio to create one of the most unique songs of 2015. Listen to record when you get a chance and feel free to dive deeper into their past.
Most Disappointing Debut Follow Up Single The 1975 – Love Me
In 2013, The 1975’s self-titled debut release created announced a new sub-genre amongst alternative music. The combination of lush guitar driven melodies over ambient backgrounds sky rocketed them to indie superstars. Of course an artist is going to want to evolve as they mature, however the group’s first single since their debut, “Love Me” is a digression more than anything. Yea it’s catchy as shit, but It’s another indie band jumping on this trend of reviving 80’s pop music. It’s almost like WHAM! and George Michael had a baby and that baby took a poop.
Most Overlooked Single “Jamie’s Song” – Sylvan Esso
Inspiration can come from the most unsuspecting places. Back in August, dance pop duo Sylvan Esso released “Jamie’s Song” on WNYC’s science based podcast, Radiolab. The podcast had earlier released a heart wrenching tale of a girl named Jamie who struggles with bipolar disorder. After Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso heard her story, they wrote this song for Jamie. There was very little press on this release, but the duo really showed their serious side while giving us that same sound we all love.
Most Likely to be Discovered through Shazam – NAO
2015 has been quite the year for U.K vocalist, NAO. She has found a way to invade American households, from being featured Samsung commercials to securing a solid spot on the latest Disclosure album. You are going to start hearing her everywhere, so get familiar.
Most likely to soundtrack your Acid Trip with girls in Art School – Grimes – Art Angels
After years of waiting, everyone’s favorite canadian weirdo pop princess finally released her next album. Art Angels doesn’t fit a genre, a label, or any type of constricting boundaries at all. This album is an acid trip in itself. Just imagine yourself spending a weekend on LSD with a group of 21 year old art majors at a liberal arts college while listening to this album. It will all make sense.
Best Sophomore Album Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color
The idea of the follow up album generates more hype and attention rather an artist’s debut in some cases. When Alabama Shakes announced that they were releasing a new record, they made it very clear that it would be nothing like the vintage southern gothic aesthetic of Boys & Girls. On Sound & Color the group recenters their focus on production quality with a vast and spacey overlying motif.
Best New Sound – Big Wild
As the number of producers grow by minute, they all have to fight for a spot in your ear audibly armed with something new and different. In today’s music landscape that almost seems impossible, but Big Wild has done it. The west coast based producer proves the limitless boundaries of electronic music by incorporating layers of quiet claps, subtle whistles, and vocal samples. Each song he releases is never like the last. If you don’t know, now you know.
Most Undecided – Jamie XX – In Colour
Upon the arrival Jamie XX’s debut full length release In Colour, I was filled with a combination of excitement and nervousness. This album confused the hell out of me. I don’t think I will reach closure towards this album. At one listen every track makes sense, then the next complete confusion fills the head. Can you decide for us?
Best Vintage Revival – Leon Bridges
As music continues to pioneer forward ironically enough, artists are looking back for inspiration to the greats who preceded them. Leon Bridges seemed to come out of nowhere this year with his vintage sound paying homage to the early 60’s soul legends like Sam Cooke and Al Green. His debut album, Coming Home emanates so much nostalgia that modern millennial can jam out with their grandma, and she may enjoy it even more.
Most California Best Coast – California Nights
Is it too obvious that this category was directly created for Best Coast? Well too bad. California Nights gives us the cutesy cali rock that we love, but this time the duo decided to focus more on the production end. In keeping with the California theme, the album is audible marijuana.
Most Deserving of Hype – Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
Various publications have been dubbing the future soul quartet from down under,Hiatus Kaiyote as best new artist. However they are far from new with a Grammy nomination back in 2013. Their latest release Choose Your Weapon, really woke people and made them realize that this polyrhythmic ethereal album is next level. Everyone was and is talking about them, as they should. This group does not sound like anything you have ever heard. Cheers mates.
Class Couple Kevin Parker & Mark Ronson
Kevin Parker, King of Modern Psychedelia. Mark Ronson, Duke of Contemporary Vintage. Together these two are completely unstoppable. The idea of them working together at one point was unfathomable, but they actually did. Kevin Parker joined Ronson for three tracks on his superstar packed Uptown Special. When Mark Ronson toured Australia, he said that he couldn’t do it without Kevin Parker. These two are clearly in love, and we are in love with them.
Cover of the Year Creep – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Take a minute to ask yourself the following. When you hear a cover, what do you actually like about it. Personally, a true cover completely redefines the song of the original artist and transforms into a brand new song. How about taking a sad 90’s grunge anthem into a gut wrenching neo-swing ballad? This is exactly what the viral swing stars did when they recruited singer, Haley Reinhart to cover the Radiohead classic. See for yourself, only so much actually be said.
Best Throwback Release – Beck – “Dreams”
After the 1990’s Prince of Weird resurrected himself with the 2014 Grammy victory, he’s back to his old ways. This past summer Beck just released “Dreams” out of the blue and the music world could not have been happier. This song was a close tie for biggest cock tease, but it’s Beck so we’ll allow it.
Best Debut Album – Phony Ppl
A paragraph summarizing the album won’t do it justice. Yesterday’s Tomorrow is a personal and intimate experience for each person. It gives you whatever you need. Confining it into a genre wouldn’t be fair to the band. Light some incense, turn off all electronics, and press play. Keep an eye on these guys.
Rookie of the Year 2015 – Space Captain
If there is one band you are going to want to really look out for in 2016, it’s Space Captain. The Brooklyn based soul collective is creating something new, something different that really captivates and transports you. This isn’t a cop out, but just make the call yourself as “Remedy” just coddles you and rocks you back and forth into a different dimension.